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View Full Version : Origin of this phrase? "Riddle wrapped in an enigma..."


GrandWino
02-24-2010, 03:16 PM
I see the phrase "Riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a puzzle" often and have always wondered what it's from. I first heard it in an episode of Newsradio when Jimmy James said something like this but finished the phrase by saying he was covered in "Secret sauce."

Anybody know?

lieu
02-24-2010, 03:20 PM
Winston Churchill first used it in a 1939 radio broadcast to describe Russia.

"I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interests."

CalMeacham
02-24-2010, 03:21 PM
Winston Churchill speaking on Russia. If he derived it from any earlier phrase, I haven't heard it:

The World War II years

* I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.
o BBC broadcast (“The Russian Enigma”), London, October 1, 1939 (partial text).


http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill

GrandWino
02-24-2010, 03:26 PM
Wow, that was fast. Thanks!!!

Justin Credible
02-24-2010, 08:01 PM
I see the phrase "Riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a puzzle"

And sometimes it's in a vest.

choie
02-24-2010, 08:17 PM
BTW, the Newsradio / Jimmy James quote is, "I am cipher. A cipher....wrapped in an enigma ... smothered in secret sauce." Great show, great quote.

Shark Sandwich
02-24-2010, 10:49 PM
More recently, Joe Pesci's character (David Ferrie) says it in the movie JFK.

wedgehed
02-25-2010, 04:20 AM
A variation I've heard goes....

He is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, poured in a douchebag.

EvilTOJ
02-25-2010, 04:26 AM
... wrapped in a soft flour tortilla.

sqweels
02-25-2010, 09:55 AM
...with a side of two mockeries and a sham.

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